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Epic Learning at #FCVW12

These days I’m attending the Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds conference (#fcvw12) at Washington DC. On May 16th I had the pleasure to lead and facilitate along with Anna Gadler-Pratt, fellow Mentor at the Virtual Worlds Certificate Program of the University of Washington an enjoyable 3-hour workshop
«iHUB: Fast Track Virtual Worlds Education – Best Practices of Instructional Design, Development of 3D Learning Environments and Teaching in Virtual Worlds»
More details about it to follow. In a series of blog posts I will share my notes from the conference.

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EU Digital Agenda Assembly: Epic Crowdsourcing Initiative for European Policies with Open Innovation

Ever since the 90s where I was involved in European politics and volunteering initiatives with AEGEE-Europe, there were complaints about the democratic deficit of the EU and the distance of its institutions from the average citizen. Today, thanks to technology and the open mind of intrapreneurs in the European Commission, there is an innovative, collaborative crowdsourcing initiative to open up the the process and give to all European citizens and stakeholders to participate in shaping the next European policies and actions; meet and get involved in the Digital Agenda for Europe!

The Background: What is the Digital Agenda for Europe and why does it matter?

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Recognizing the profound importance of digital economy and ICT, the European Commission has launched in 2010 the Digital Agenda for Europe. The Digital Agenda one of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
The Digital Agenda for Europe is a roadmap for actions and policies in European and national level to leverage the economic & social potential of ICT for growth, employment, inclusion and innovation. In 2011, the first Digital Agenda Assembly identified and proposed 101 actions in thematic topics (pillars).
In October 2012 the Digital Agenda is going to be evaluated and revised following up on the results of the second Digital Agenda Assembly to be held in June 21-22, 2012.

The Assembly will focus on the following eight (8) key topics with respective workshops:

  1. Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device ? Converged Media Platforms (#Da12converge)
  2. High-speed connections (#Da12bb)
  3. Trust What You Buy, Choose How to Pay ? The Future of e-Commerce in Europe (#Da12commerce)
  4. Social Media: Social Networking for Economic Recovery, Jobs and Growth (#Da12social)
  5. Data (#Da12data)
  6. Clouds for Europe: From Cloud-friendly to Cloud-Active (#Da12cloud)
  7. Security: Secure Digital Future: building on growth, innovation and confidence (#Da12trustsec)
  8. Innovation and entrepreneurs (#Da12innov)

But guess what, the Assembly has already started online; on the Digital Agenda Assembly Platform (http://daa.ec.europa.eu/) and also in the Social Media.

One Topic to Rule Them All: Jobs & Skills!

digital economy virtuous circle

However, in addition to the above, there is a horizontal key topic in the Digital Agenda that unites all the above and provides the strategic context of the process: Jobs and Skills (#da12jobskills).
The rise in employment through sustainable growth and new jobs creation is one of the biggest challenge for young people in Europe. ICT and technology can and should have a major impact in creating new businesses and jobs in a variety of ways.

Call for ICT Action Heroes! What can ICT do for Jobs?!

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The demand for effective policies that lead to results (i.e. jobs!) is pressing and constant. Neelie Kroes, the Vice President of the European Commission and Responsible for the Digital Agenda has remarkable views on openness and collaboration – check them out on youtube. In April 2012 she initiated a process for the formation a grand coalition on ICT jobs.
So if you are an ICT Hero in Europe and beyond, thus a person, business or organization who is successful in creating jobs in ICT sector or with the help of ICT, now it’s your chance to shine (even more!), influence policies and open up new opportunities to make things happen in scale!

Please join the Digital Agenda Assembly Platform (http://daa.ec.europa.eu/) and starting shaping the Digital Agenda’s action plan by providing:

  • Evidence of your successful practices with ICT & Jobs (e.g. upskilling, placement)
  • Ideas to map and address the fluid ICT Skills Need & Supply Mismatch
  • Data about eventual Challenges and Roadblocks
  • Evidence about the role of certification skills, formal and informal
  • Action suggestions for EC to scale good practices

Looking forward to meeting you there!

Disclaimer: Yours truly is honored be facilitating the discovery, involvement of digital champions and the engagement of the discussion in the Jobs & Skills topic of the Digital Agenda Assembly.

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Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Sustainable Growth and the Role of Universities

elias carayannis

Elias Carayannis, Professor of Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at George Washington visited the University of Patras and gave a great lecture on Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Sustainable Growth as an antidote to the economic crisis of Greece. The recording will be published soon. Read here his


Re: Initiatives to Revitalize the Hellenic Education Ecosystem and Accelerate Sustainable Economic Growth and the Role of Universities

Date: May 5, 2012

Dear Primer Minister,

“My «motto» is that academics are – or should continually strive to become – entrepreneurs of the mind in the business of growing people intellectually, spiritually and socially.

Entrepreneurship is in my mind and per my experience, a liberator of creativity and an enabler of inventiveness that converts human dreams into socio-economic realities. I consider teaching, research and outreach as three key pillars of the academic enterprise that are mutually complementary and reinforcing. Successful entrepreneurs are typically people of a certain caliber of character, culture and charisma that leverage the financial means they have earned to do good in a multitude of ways… In the same context, through my research and pedagogy, I have come to qualify entrepreneurs of any type – including those of the mind who by the way represent the dominant mode in a knowledge economy and society – as obsessed maniacs and clairvoyant oracles.” (Elias G. Carayannis, Lecture on E&I in Seattle, Washington, March 2007).

I have been involved for a number of years now and on a voluntary, pro-bono basis, in designing and implementing initiatives to help reform and revitalize the Hellenic Education Ecosystem and in particular the higher education component as it relates to the National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem of Greece (please see below and attached related publications as well as my bio and academic publication venues I lead for your reference).


I would like to urgently request your support and actions (not necessarily monetary support but first institutional support and then engaging/coordinating devices and actions) to do the following:

a. Institute the «OK Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative» across ALL Hellenic Universities and set it up to take place each year. The President of the Hellenic Democracy should be the host and sponsor of this event in coordination and cooperation with the Minister of Education (see the current pilot implementation at: http://ok2012.uoi.gr ).

b. Institute the HELLENIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION OLYMPICS (HEIO) that should happen bi-annually to incorporate best outcomes from actions such as OK2012, Eurobank’s, NBG’s and other such initiatives – the idea would be to leverage BOTH the process and the outcomes to highlight and use as role models success stories as well as promote their funding and co-location per my writings and the OK2012 rubric. The President of the Hellenic Democracy should be the host and sponsor of this event.

c. Institute the HELLENIC NETWORK OF ENTREPRENEURS AND INNOVATORS (HELL-NEI) with BOTH domestic and diaspora members and also parallel to that, the HELLENIC NETWORK OF ENTREPRENEUR AND INNOVATOR MENTORS (HELL-NEIM) and the HELLENIC NETWORK OF ENTREPRENEUR AND INNOVATOR ANGEL INVESTORS (HELL-NEIA). Again, the Hellenic President’s Office should sponsor and coordinate these networks that should be TOTALLY a-political and mission-focused

d. Institute an office for the ENTREPRENEUR AND INNOVATOR OMBUDSMAN. Again, the Hellenic President’s Office should sponsor and coordinate these networks that should be TOTALLY a-political and mission-focused.


Elias Carayannis
Professor of Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
School of Business, GWU
Email: caraye@gwu.edu

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Alive Learning nominated ISTE SIGVE blog-o”-the-Month

iste sigve nominated blog

Scott Merrick, blog administrator of Virtual Environments Special Interest Group (SIGVE) of International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) was kind enough to inform me that Alive Learning is nominated for ISTE SIGVE May 2012 blog of the month.

The winner will be decided after a poll has taken place in April. Check out the other nominated & more great featured blogs on Virtual Worlds. If you are enjoying Alive Learning, then visit ISTE SIGVE in Second Life, find the small wooden hut with the colored pollster (see image below) and vote for us (green).

Thank you!

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Training Machinima for the Oil/Gas Pipeline Industry

Machinimatographer Ariella Languish and Fred Stawitz- Principal of Technical Training of El Paso Corporation in Houston, TX presented at the Train for Success Series how they created a series of training videos depicting true to life scenarios, role-play scenarios of men out on the field in a dig site. The results of the animated videos compare the «rights» and «wrongs» of how to manage a third party excavation site.

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Hinrichs on Virtual Worlds Residency

Watch live streaming video from alivelearning at livestream.com

Randy Hinrichs, CEO of the award-winning company 2b3d and creator of the University of Washington’s Virtual Worlds Certificate Program (UWVW), gave an exciting speech at the VWBPE12 conference about Virtual Worlds Residency. If you missed the livestreamed session, enjoy the recording. Randy will be keynoting at the fascinating Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds (FCVW12) conference, so don’t miss it!


Randy’s insightful perception and innovative application of virtual immersive learning environments as demonstrated also in the seminal Kapp’s & O’Driscoll’s Learning in 3D book was my main motivation for taking the UWVW program in 2010-11. After a wild learning ride -comparable only to my relentless training as reserved Greek army officer (!)- I graduated as Class Speaker and Estate Manager of the our final project, UW Maya Island. The following academic year, 2011-12, it has been a privilege and delight to collaborate with Randy at the University of Washington as Virtual Worlds Teaching Assistant (UWVW Mentor).

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Metakides on Digital Enlightenment

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George Metakides, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Patras, presented (in greek) the Digital Enlightenment concept and Forum in Diakideios School of Patras.

Prof. Metakides, prominent Web Science Inspirator, draws interesting connections between the ideas that appeared in the Age of Enlightenment and modern communication, sharing & co-creation practices thanks the Internet, World-Wide Web and Social Media for education, knowledge, politics, entrepreneurship and society. After that he presents fascinating findings analyzing mathematical laws, facts & phenomena behind Internet.

Special thanks to Sofia Ginko who recorded the speech.

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Open Education for Change

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Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, responsible for EU’s Digital Agenda, talks about the amazing potential of information and communications technology (ICT) tools to transform Europe’s education system. She outlines some of the ways we can drive this change – recognising that progress so far has been frustratingly limited.

The Open Workshop (#owilupatras) is an open education initiative of the Library & Information Services in the University of Patras which addresses the challenge to facilitate and accelerate change and innovation in teaching and learning across disciplines utilizing the state-of-the art blended learning technologies, 3d virtual immersive environments (e.g. Second Life) combined with social media and collaborative web 2.0 tools.

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UW Maya Island Triumph in VWBPE!

UW Maya Island Best Practice in Education Poster Machinima Award VWBPE12

UW Maya Island won both best Educational Poster & best Educational Machinima Awards at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education!

Congratulations to all poster & machinima participants and winners. Special thanks to the conference’s scientific committee and all who voted for us!

Don’t forget to explore Maya Island in 2012 at Second Life while you still can! :-)

Cross-posting at Maya Island Society blog.

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Maya Island Poster & Machinima Finalists in VWBPE

Our Maya Island Poster and Machinima were selected by Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) Judge Committee among the Finalists in the 2012 conference competition!

More specifically, our Poster -an interactive 3D exhibit- is nominated for the «Best Example of Educational Practice in a Virtual World» award and Valibrarian’s video is nominated for «Best Educational Machinima«.

In each category there are three nominations, so please check out the exciting posters and machinima on display and cast your vote !

Crossposting from UW Maya Island Society blog

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